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For many businesses, it’s a common practice to solve customer problems as they arise. It has become the ‘norm’ of doing business. But is this practice really ideal?

For most people, this approach is okay. But to tell you frankly – it’s NOT ideal. The fact is customers want something more out of the service they’re getting. They want to have the most pleasant and memorable customer experience in which they feel satisfaction which will lead them to keep coming back. This is why businesses should go the extra mile for their customers. Businesses should do everything to make their customers happy.

Keeping that in mind, here are some customer service secrets that go that EXTRA MILE.

Real-Time Response

There is no better way to treat a customer than to respond to them as quickly as possible. It may be an email, a complaint, or a just a random question from a customer, you have to always take time to respond to these concerns. This would allow you not only to satisfy customers for your quick response but you get to identify any problems that may arise, in which case you can also quickly address them.

To do this, it’s very important to appoint someone to regularly check emails, and have someone that customers can readily approach for questions or complaints. But if your business is not big enough to have a customer representative, it would be advisable to create a system where concerns are hastily recognized by employees involved so that they can get to them as soon as possible.

Ask for Feedback

It is a priority to give customers what they want. However, it often happens that you don’t know their wants. To solve this, why not just ask them? It would be great to give out customer feedback forms in which customers can rate the service they’re getting and add info about any complaint they want to voice or any improvements that they want to be accomplished.

It would also be good to reach customers through email or telephone for a survey of what they want and what they think about your business. This would be a good way to assess your business in order to find ways to give better customer service. It would also give you a way to spot any weak points in your business for you to correct them before customers become unhappy or dissatisfied.

Reward Loyalty

There is nothing better to make customers happy than giving them rewards. These rewards make customers become loyal and make already loyal ones become even more so. Giving these is not only going the extra mile, it also builds goodwill by showing the company’s desire to thank customers in the form of reward or discount offers.

Your customer appreciation doesn’t need to break your bank accounts. It can be small, but make sure it gives a lasting impression such as the use of customer priority – allowing very loyal customers to be prioritized over others. In addition to that, there are small gestures of appreciation that can delight your customers such as giving them small gifts, free stuff, and coupons.

Have an FAQ Section

Customers always have questions in mind. The good thing is most of them have the same ones. So it is ideal to have an FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) section. By doing this, personally answering questions is no longer required because customers can already find the information they’re looking for in the FAQs section. Besides, several customers prefer to find answers themselves rather than asking others for the same. This means that if helpful information is not available for customers, there is a likely chance of them getting dissatisfied. A Forrester survey even showed that 57% of customers give up on a purchase if finding an answer to a question is too difficult.

One way to do this is through tallying common questions that customers ask and answering them all together in a section of your website or in a posting at your business premises. But you should always make sure that people can find them easily by putting them in obvious and noticeable places. And to provide more detailed answers to some questions, it would be a good idea to make blog posts and articles.

Get in Touch with Customers

Sending customers weekly emails or posts to update them about your business is a very good practice. It allows you to get in touch with them, which creates a good customer relationship. Through this, not only will you be able to advertise new products or events, you also save your customers the trouble of updating themselves about your business.

Live Chat for Website

If your business has a website, you should put up a live chat. The reason for this is it’s easier to just ‘chat’ about a concern than talking about it on the phone or through email. Because for many it’s too much trouble to talk to someone on the phone and email takes a long time to be answered, so the best way to communicate is through live chat. Additionally, a survey found that 44% of customers find live chat one of the most important features a website can offer. This feature also provides helpful, personal information to a customer who is still figuring out whether to contact the company or not.

Value What Customers Say Online

Customers often complain and voice their feelings online. This can lead to bad publicity or even losing several customers. One way to solve this is through having an online presence. So why not tweet back to a customer to address his complaint on Twitter or comment on Facebook to make matters clear for a dissatisfied customer.

Of course you have to limit your online presence so that customers won’t feel like they are being stalked. You also have to make sure that, if needed, you are there to respond to any source of bad publicity. And for the customers who praise your business through social media, don’t forget to thank them and assure them that they will receive the same or even better service if they happen to come back.

Practice Politeness

One of the simplest yet very important gestures to go the extra mile is by practicing politeness to customers. This can be done through the use of polite words such as ‘thank you’, ‘you’re welcome’, ‘good morning’, ‘please,’ etc. It can also be done through helping customers by opening the door, always having a happy aura, and assisting customers with all their needs.

To do this, employees should be trained to do the same. It would also help to conduct pre-employment seminars to instil politeness in incoming employees.  Most of all, you should properly screen applicants for your business. You should prioritize hiring the people who are already polite and have a positive outlook so that there would be no need to train them on how to do so.

Treat Employees as Customers

Employees treat customers the way they are treated by management. So it is imperative to treat employees the way you want your customers to be treated. That treatment should always be like family. You should treat your employees in a way that they will feel they are loved, cared for and most of all important.

To achieve this, you have to treat your employees to a night out or a free vacation. Give them birthday bashes and incentives for good performance. By doing this, you make them happy and that happiness would most likely be felt by your customers. And like what was mentioned above, treat them politely so that they too will treat customers in the same way.

Yes to Special Requests

Although few and uncommon, special requests are very important in a business. The reason for this is that these requests are very special to a customer, and thus fulfilling them will make that customer extraordinarily happy. Hence, your business will create an unbreakable goodwill with that same customer. There is also a likely chance of that customer sharing the positive experience, which would be awesome for your business.

So, it is vital to always say YES to special requests. Everything should be done in order to fulfil these requests. It may just be a special order, an unusual add-on to a purchase, or an out-of-this-world request, it should always be fulfilled. However, in times when there is no way to fulfil a special request, you should properly explain and apologize for your inability to fulfil the same.

Use Positive Language

Using positive language for communication towards customers is a great way to eliminate accidental conflicts rooted in miscommunication. It provides refocus from negativity to the fact that there is a solution to that negative circumstance. While actionable differences may be small, the effects can differ and can sometimes be extreme.

For example your product was backordered by one month, and you need to tell a customer this information. Consider the following responses:

Negative – “That product is unavailable at this time due to a backorder of one month. It won’t be available until January”.

Positive – “That product will be available next month.  I can make an order for you right away and make sure that it is shipped to you as soon as it arrives in our warehouse”.

If you use the negative response, it’s likely that your customer will become upset. But if you use the positive response, you focus your customer’s attention away from the negative aspects and towards the proposed solution, thus reducing the odds of them getting disappointed.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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